04-18 TABLE of CONTENTS:
QUOTES by Hedwig Dohm, Florence Kelley Randye Lordon, and Jack Anderson.
Romana Banuelos - U.S. Treasurer and business executive
Romana Banuelos' life began in the poverty of the Texas-Mexican border and climaxed with becoming the Treasurer of the United States in 1971.
Her greatest example was watching (and helping) her mother - after her family was returned to Mexico in the hard times of 1933 - build a thriving empanada busi- ness
RB returned to the U.S. in 1947, a divorced mother of two, and in two years was able to save enough money to start her own tortilla factory in Los Angeles with the help of an aunt.
Like her mother, RB showed amazing business acumen and by 1990 her enterprise had become the largest producer of Mexican products in California.
She was a founder of the Pan-American Bank and was a vital figure in the economic improvement of Latinos and the development of its sense of community.
Frances Baard Fought Apartheid and History Forgot Her
While men like Mandela are lionized by the anti-apartheid forces and their media, women like Frances Baard who fought in the day-by-day trenches are generally ignored.
Born 1901 with the time and place of her death unknown, this Azanian (black South African) woman worked as a domestic and a teacher while she became a leader in the African National Congress, during the 1950s.
She lead Azanian women in a mass protest against the Pass laws and organized protests against other form of prejudice such as lesser education known as Bantu. She was imprisoned in solitary confinement, then exiled in 1969.-
and she disappeared from the public record., her last days and place and time of death unreported.
Marian Bailey Kept Pentagon Personnel in Line
Died 01-29-2001, Marian Bailey, 79, who kept the Pentagon personnel from generals to non-coms in line for almost 60 years.
She started working for the war department before the Pentagon building was even completed in 1942 in an amazing 16 months. Jokingly she said "I was sitting in the courtyard eating my lunch and they built it around me."
MB trained telephone operators and became chief opeator in what she called "the largest switchboard in the largest office building in the world."
She knew every important government officials - at least by voice - from President Franklin D. Roosevelt to lowly non-coms.
In her later years RB was put in charge of giving tourst to VIP visitors riding in splendor in a golf cart decorated with flags - and a well-used horn and flashing red light.
According to her obituary by Steve Vogel, she was bossy and generals and privates knew to get out of her way. Once she was told she couldn't drive her cart down the area where the top generals congregated.
"I said, 'If I can't go everywhere, I'm going to take my things and go home,' " she said. She stayed and kept driving where no other carts dared go.
She often said she'd write her memoirs but never did and now there is no one to recall those early days when the flying magic fingers of telephone operators connected the tragedies of war with those dedicated to ending it.
Birth Control in Ancient Egypt
In the Petri Papyrus from 1850 BC (3,850 years ago) it is recorded that Egyptian women used tampons. The "tampon," or rather a combination of tampon and menstrual cup, was made at home of shredded linen and the powder of crushed acacia wood (that is known today as gum arabic).
Birth control was often generally coitus interruptus, or coitus obstructus. The latter is a method by which ejaculated semen is forced into the bladder by depressing the base of the uterus.
When possible, a woman used a mixture of sterilized crocodile dung and honey that would be inserted in her vagina before intercourse. The honey tends to hold the sperm and the acidity of the dung is a highly effective spermicide. Before you turn up your nose at crocodile dung, remember modern drug research began with folk remedies - and even today the best dilation of the cervix is a particular seaweed.
04-18 DATES, ANNIVERSARIES, and EVENTS
B. 04-18-1480, Lucrezia Borgia - Italian noblewoman and HIStorically a central figure of the infamous Borgia family of the Italian Renaissance.
In truth, however, she was the helpless young girl- toy in the infamous patriarchal Borgia family and the politics of the Italian Renaissance Roman Catholic Church.
She was obvious the victim of incest committed by her father Pope Alexander VI. As a pawn in the games of her father Pope Alexander VI, she was married and isolated at 13 with a cruel husband and his family far removed from her family and friends in Rome.
For political reasons, not pity for her misery, Alexander annuled the marriage to marry her to a nobleman who also mistreated her. Her second husband was murdered, probably on the orders of her brother.
A few years later Lucrezia appeared with a child - the Roman Child - and rumors persist it was probably the incestuous child of Pope Alexander. In fact, two papal bulls recognized the child as the illegitimate son first of Cesare (Lucretia's brother), then of Alexander
She was married again for the political purposes of the Borgia family men. After Alexander's death she lived quietly until her own death at 39.
To put Lucretia's life in context remember that women of that era and especially one to closely tied to the papistry had no human rights.
Baptized 04-18-1675, Katen Tekakwitha - Mohawk- Algonquian religious.
KT was the first native American proposed for sainthood in the Roman Catholic Church.
Raised by an anti-Christian uncle after her parents died when she was four. When she was 19 she followed in her mother's footsteps and was baptized Christian. It is said she faced bigotry by Mohawks who opposed Christianity and saw it destroying their way of life.
She was pius and refused to marry further separating her from the Indian culture. It is said she lived a "life of great spirituality and asceticism." After her death at age 24 miracles were attributed to her and in 1884 a plenary council of the Roman Catholic church, meeting in the U.S. petitioned Rome for her canonization. The move was seen as a step to influence Indians to accept the church that accepted them as well as to recognize miracles attriibuted to her. In 1943 she was "recognized as possessed of heroic virtue," but no further action has been taken for her canonization.
B. 04-18-1829, Katherine Russell (Mother Mary Baptist), established homes in San Francisco for prostitutes, unemployed women, and the aged and infirmed.
A House of Mercy for unemployed women opened in 1855, a Magdalen Asylum for prostitutes in 1861, and the home for the aged and infirmed in 1872.
Because of the advances in human rights for women in the past 80 years it is often difficult for women of today to visualize the way women were treated in U.S. and world society before about 1920.
Women were usually forbidden or refused higher paid employment or even employment that would support them above abject poverty. Women schoolteachers were expected to be poor and humble and forced to be boarders who also helped with housework.
Women were not only not hired in most fields, but if hired were paid a fraction of what men earned.
On the whole, women were only employed for domestic purpose and their wages terrible. Even the slightest objection to working conditions or other mistreatment would cause a woman to lose her job. And without a letter of recommendation, she would be hard pressed to find other "decent" work.
Faced with no income thse unemployed women as well as those who were widowed, orphaned, or otherwise without male support were forced into prostitution. Their clients were often those very same men who would not allow them "honest" work because a woman had to be kept in her place according to biblical teachings.
Most large cities had hundreds of houses of prostitution as well as street walkers Almost every small town also had "service areas" for the men that were usually located in the poorer sections.
The daughter of a well-to-do family, MBR became a nun in her native Ireland. She headed a group of eight sisters sent to San Francisco to establish a convent and school. During a cholera epidemic her order worked with the city to care for dependent patients at a government hospital. Religious problems arose and MPR purchased the buiding and named it St. Mary's Hospital, the first Catholic hospital on the Pacific coast. Under her direction the convent opened branches and hospitals in several California cities.
B. 04-18-1877, Bird Margaret Turner - U.S. mathematician. A high school teacher until 36, BMT took summer classes at several colleges including Harvard to study advanced mathematics. She then taught at the University of West Virginia and was also enrolled, gaining her B.A. She went on to receive her master's degree before going to Bryn Mawr College as a Scholar in Mathematics. She gained her Ph.D. in 1920 at Bryn Mawr where she had been a part time Reader in Mathematics and a Resident Fellow during 1919-20. She studied under the direction of Matilde Castro, Olive Clio Hazlett, Charlotte Scott, and Anna J. Pell.
Her Ph.D. dissertation on "Plane Cubics with a Given Quadrangle of Inflexions," was published in the American Journal of Mathematics, October, 1922.
According to biographical information, her thesis involved the following idea:That every non-singular cubic has nine points of inflexion, lying in related positions on the curve, is a classical fact in mathematics. Of these points four may be chosen arbitrarily; and when such a quadrangle is fixed, the finding of the positions of the remaining five presents a question worthy of consideration. It appears that all the sets of five combine into a group of fifteen points whose relative positions with respect to the given four depend upon equianharmonic properties; but that the equianharmonic relations follow as a consequence of a combination of harmonic functions and hence, in a number of cases, the points may be determined by linear and quadratic constructions.After a stint at the University of Illinois she returned to the University of West Virginia where she taught mathematics for 24 years rising from assistant professor to full professor in 1931. She wrote several more papers that were published nationally. [Information taken from the University of West Virginia website through Copper Queen.]
B. 04-18-1914, Claire Martin, pseudonym of Claire Faucher, French Canadian writer who wrote entirely in French. She won the Prix du Cercle du Livre de France with her first collection of short stories. She authored several novels.
B. 04-18-1921, Virginia O'Brien - Hollywood singer and actor. VoB did only one thing in the movies, but did it marvelously: deadpan singing with little inflection.
B. 04-18-1921, Barbara Hale - U.S. actor best known for her TV portrayal of Perry Mason's dutiful secretary Della Street. It wasn't until a sequel series that showed them as mature people that Della was finally allowed to develop "some" human characterists and initiative, but of course whatever she did always centered around serving Mason.
Event 04-18-1925: the Woman's World Fair , in Chicago opened. The exibits showed women's progress in major industries and professions and historians considered it as a landmark in the recognition of women's contribution to civilization.
B. 04-18-1929, Mary Ann Crenshaw - U.S. author. MAC was the longtime fashion and beauty reporter for the New York Times after a stint with Vogue. Her best known books were The End of the Rainbow (1981) and The Super Foods Diet (1983).
Event 04-18-1930: Lotta Caldwell and Mary Ramsdell become the irst women on the Massachusetts State Police force.
B. 04-18-1933, Carolyn Jones - U.S. actor best known for her role of Morticia in the long running The Adams Family TV series.
B. 04-18-1935, Alice Stone Ilchman - president Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY 1981-. She is an activist in numerous humitarian organizations including the Peace Corps.
B. 04-18-1938, Valentina Kozlovskaya - Russian international chess grandmaster.
B. 04-18-1939, Marcia Haydee, dramatic ballerina and artistic director Stuttgart Ballet.
B. 04-18-1947, Kathy Acker- U.S. punk or postmodern poet and novelist who explores with violence the economic and sexual dependency of her characters, especially women. She wrote her own Don Quixote (1986).
B. 04-18-1959, Susan Faludi - U.S. author and journalist. known especially for her exploration of the depiction of women by the news media. She won the 1991 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory journalism. Her best known book is Backlash, the Undeclared War Against Women.
She worked for the New York Times, San Jose Mercury, Miami Herald among other newspapers and was managing editor of the Harvard Crimson when she attended that university.
QUOTES DU JOUR
"There will be a day when woman, tired of needle and cooking spoon, will throw away these symbols of gender, and where she, tired of old phrases, with which they have been cheated so far, that she will give the despot "man" notice and will want obedience from those, that are obedient in spirit. The day will be where she will enter into the temples of men, will ascend the men's pulpits and preach of a new gospel with the joyful message of the humanization of woman."
-- Hedwig Dohm, German feminist, writing in 1874.
"Is this [U.S.] Constitution of ours a river of life, to be kept within new banks as it flows on, or is it a stagnant pool?"
-- Florence Kelley
"Old people become invisible in our society. . .Old people and especially old women. No one would have suspected me because no one sees me."
-- a character speaking in Randye Lordon's novel _Mother May I_.
"Churchill would praise the RAF in a speech summarizing the Battle of Britain: 'Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.'
"But Home Secretary and Minister of Home Security offered another credit:
"If the morale of London had cracked, it could have lost the war. If the morale of the women of London alone had cracked, we could have lost the war. But it did not. They stuck it. They decided London could take it, and London did. So did the. rest of Britain.
"The battle's statistics tell the tale: RAF personnel killed 507; British civilians killed more than 43,000."
-- Jack Anderson's Washington Merry Go Round column, November 1999.
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